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  • 12/11/2010

Imam’s letter to the noblemen of Basra (Part 3)

imam hussein (a.s)

Tabari says that Hisham said that Abu Makhnaf related to me from Sa’qib bin Zuhayr, from Abu Usman Nahdi that Imam Hussein (A.S) wrote a similar letter to the noblemen of the five divisions of Basra and their chiefs through his retainer named Sulayman. The letters with similar contents were addressed to Malik bin Musme' Bakri, Ahnaf bin Qays, Mundhir bin Jarood, Mas’ood bin Amr, Qays bin Haysam and Umar bin Abdullah bin Mu’ammar,

"Now then! Verily Allah has chosen Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) above all His creatures and granted him (the prestige of) Prophet hood and chose him for the Apostleship. Then the Almighty took him towards His mercy (death) after the Prophet having guided all people towards the truth, and after having propagated the message for which he was sent. Thus we are his Household (Ahl-ul-Bayt), friends, vicegerents and his successors and are more worthy of succeeding him than anyone else. Then the nation has tried to precede us in this matter and we helplessly withdrew to avoid dissentions. We cherish peace although we consider ourselves more worthy and deserving of it (Caliphate) than them. I have sent towards you my messenger and I invite you to the Book of Allah and the tradition (Sunnah) of the Prophet, for I see that the traditions (Sunnah) have been destroyed and innovations have crept up. Hence if you pay heed to my words and obey my command, then I shall guide you to the Righteous path. And peace be upon you and Allah’s blessings and mercy."

Whoever read this letter among the noblemen, they kept it concealed except Mundhir bin Jarood who feared that this might be a conspiracy of Ubaydullah. Hence he took the messenger to Ubaydullah on the same night of the morning on which Ubaydullah left for Kufa. He gave the letter to Ubaydullah so he could read it. After reading the letter Ubaydullah gave ordered the execution of the messenger and himself went on the pulpit of Basra and after praising and glorifying Allah said, "Now then! By Allah! A ravished Camel is not at par with me, nor do I flee from the sound of an empty water skin. I myself am a wrath for my adversaries and a fatal poison for those who oppose me. The one who flings a clod of mud towards me shall have the reward of a stone (I shall deal severely with the one who even minutely opposes me). O people of Basra! The commander of the faithful (referred to Yazeed) has bestowed me the guardianship of Kufa and tomorrow I shall leave for there. I appoint my brother Usman bin Ziyad bin Abu Sufyan as my Vicegerent upon you. Beware, remain away from opposition and mischief, for by Allah, besides whom there is no other Diety, if I hear regarding the opposition of anyone amongst you, I shall surely kill him along with the chief of his clan, and his guardians. I hold the present ones responsible for those who are absent until stability is restored, and none of those opposing or disliking me remains among you. I am the son of Ziyad, and am more similar to my father than anyone who has ever set his foot upon the earth, and am not like my maternal or paternal uncle." Then he left Basra and proceeded towards Kufa leaving behind his brother Usman in his place.

Azdi relates that Abul Makhariq Rasbee says that some of the Shea of Basra gathered at the house of a woman of the tribe of Abdul Qays. The name of the woman was Mariya, daughter of Sa’ad or Manqaz, who was a Shea. Her house was a place of gathering for them and they associated with one another. When Ubaydullah bin Ziyad was informed that Imam Hussein (A.S) was proceeding towards Iraq, he wrote to his superintendant that he should appoint guards and block the roads. Yazeed bin Nabeet, who was from the clan of Abdul Qays, decided to go to defend Imam Hussein (A.S). He had ten sons whom he asked as to who would accompany him. Two of his sons viz. Abdullah and Ubaydullah agreed to come. When the Shea had gathered at the house of Mariya, he disclosed his intention to leave in the presence of his comrades. His friends said that they feared Ubaydullah’s men against him. To which he replied that, "When the hooves of my Camel sets upon the deserts, I do not fear their pursuit", and he left and paved the way of success until he reached Imam Hussein (A.S) at Mecca. He went to the tent of Imam Hussein (A.S) at Abtah. When Imam Hussein (A.S) received news of his arrival, he arose to receive him. When he came near the Imam’s tent he was told that Imam had already left to meet him at his place. He returned and saw Imam sitting at the door waiting for him and he (A.S) said:

"In the Grace of Allah and His Mercy, in that they should rejoice." the Holy Qur’an (Surah the Prophet Jonah, verse 58.)

He then saluted him and sat down. Then he related his intention to the Imam, who prayed for his well-being. He remained with the Imam till Karbala and fought there and was martyred along with both of his sons.

Taken from the book named: NAFASUL MAHMOOM

By Haj Shaikh Abbas Qummi (a.r)

Other links:

Muslim bin Aqeel’s departure from Mecca in Mid-Ramadhan

Ubaydullah bin Ziyad’s exit from Basra towards Kufa

The Mission of Ma’qal

Arresting of Hani by ibn Ziyad

Muslim bin Aqeel in the House of Taw’ah

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